Dover vs. Phila 1931 – Quakers 1st-Time Underdogs

Ralph Bauer 1931 Quakers coach

Tornadoes Time Warp | 1931 New Phila Team Profile

For a long time, New Philadelphians had it all over their upstart neighbors in Dover. Especially in football.

The Quakers played in their own stadium, built in 1929, a full nine years before Dover got its own.

The team mascot — a tribute to William Penn’s devoted followers in Philadelphia, PA., whose city plan was copied by the Ohio town — was set decades before Dover changed from Crimsons to Tornadoes.

But before legendary Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes had the chance to stalk the sidelines at the New Phila field that would one day bear his name, an upstart coach at crosstown Dover inspired his charges to whup up on the once-dominant Quakers. Anually. For a little awhile, anyway.

It was just Ralph Bauer’s misfortune to wear the coach’s whistle during that window of Dover dominance before John Brickells set things right and one-time Brickells assistant Hayes helped slam the window on Dover for the rest of the otherwise glorious 1930s.

But more on that later.

In 1930, Bauer took over as coach of the New Philadelphia squad. In the previous nine years, the Quakers had lost just once to Dover. But in Bauer’s initiation to the rivalry, a 3-4-2 Dover team prevailed, even after his Quakers scored the first TD (their only one of the game) and held the Crimsons to negative yardage in the first half.

It was just Dover’s 2nd victory in the grudge match since 1922. And now, the architect of both victories, Coach Gus Peterka, was giving way to rookie Crimsons coach Herman “Bup” Rearick. Could anyone blame the Quakers if they smelled (crimson) blood?

Rearick and Bauer were cut from the same pedigree. Both had starred in football and basketball as high school players, and continued at the same college, Wittenberg. Bauer earned his bachelor’s in phys ed; Rearick in education. But Bauer was the more seasoned coach. Before taking the reins in New Phila, Bauer had served two seasons as head coach in Newcomerstown (where an underclassman named Wayne Woodrow Hayes played center).

1931 New Phila Quakers coaches

Gone from Bauer’s first-season squad was estimable captain, Abe Rolli, who had come up short in his finale duel with Dover’s Don Foutz. Stepping into the breech to take on Foutz’s running and the two-way line captaincy of center Trevor Rees were Quakers end Robert Hixon and center Melvin Carpenter.

Hixon, at just 135 pounds, streaked down the field on handoffs and to haul in forward passes — one aspect of New Phila’s game that had stymied the Crimsons the season before. Carpenter, a junior and two-year vet, was also on the lighter side, at 150 pounds, but led the Quakers in tackles.

1931 Quakers Hixon, Carpenter

Also aiding the Quakers’ cause were fullback Joe Zurcher and tackle Max Kislig.

Kislig, a load at 178 pounds, would be essential if New Phila hoped to hold back Dover’s opportunistic defensive linemen, who had led a charge that repeatedly broke into their opponents’ backfield and allowed just 13 points in their final 7 games.

Zurcher, though he played fullback for the Quakers to Foutz’s left halfback for Dover, was bound to draw comparisons to the Crimson Flash. Like Foutz, he was equally adept at plunging through the line as he was at breaking free for open-field dashes.

1931 Quakers Zurcher, Kislig

In the score of senior experience, Dover and New Phila were tied heading into the contest at 8 players a piece. But in terms of season record, the Quakers stood at 4-5 to the Crimsons’ 9-1. For Quakers upperclassmen, the game marked the first in anyone’s memory in which their squad entered as underdogs.

It was the sort of sentiment that could backfire on the favored team if their opponent had a mind to smack them in the mouth and see what breaks came their way.

Tomorrow: A look at the Dover squad.


Each week, this series runs in tandem with the 2010 Dover (Ohio) Tornadoes football schedule to share historic game-by-game summaries of Dover’s 1931 season, in which Colt Foutz’s grandfather, Don Foutz, played a starring role. Game stories and photos are excerpted from Don Foutz’s football scrapbook, with thanks to Fred Foutz. How did Dover do this week (in 2010)? Get the latest Dover Tornadoes news from the Sports section of The Times-Reporter.

1931 New Philadelphia Quakers record

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